Q: What’s the [good] deed in which you hold the most hope?
Abu Uthman al-Wa’idh: When I grew up, I wanted to marry but I [always] refused.
A woman came to me and said: O Abu Uthman! I love you with a love that left me with neither sleep nor rest. I ask you by the One who turns hearts and I take Him as an intercessor to you so that you marry me.
[I asked]: Do you have a father?
[She said]: Yes.
She called him, and I married her.
When I was alone with her, I saw that she was one-eyed, lame, deformed, so I said: O Allaah, praise comes back to you for what You’ve predestined for me!
My family members blamed me for marrying her, but I showed more kindness and generosity to her.
Sometimes she kept me and stopped me from attending classes, and sometimes I boiled [with anger], but I didn’t show her anything, so I stayed for fifteen years, and I have no more hope other than the fact that I’ve preserved what she felt in her heart towards me [i.e. I did not give her a chance to regret loving me].
Source: al-Bidayah wa-n-Nihayah (v. 11, p. 188)